Can an employer read an employee’s e-mails?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer read an employee’s e-mails?

Are there any rules regarding a company employee getting blind copied on another employee’s emails with out a disclosure to that employee? This is a small company and I initiated this practice for other employees to help alleviate back logs, but those employees were notified and in agreement with the procedure. Now there is a situation where an employee’s emails are being blind copied and the company has made it clear that they do not want that employee to know. Is this an allowable practice or can the company be subject to a lawsuit or some other liability?

Asked on August 5, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Companies have enormous discretion to monitor employees' use of their office computer equipment, office email or internet access (or servers or intranet), and work-related communications. The best way to handle this situation is to simply have (and make employees aware of--such as by a written notice which they sign and return) that the company has the right to monitor all communications made using company or work email and computers, all internet access on computer equipment or through company provided services, and all files on company machines. Make this your official policy, put all employees generally on notice as desribed above, and then your company should be covered for being copied, including blind copied, on this employee's emails. Since this should be your office policy anyway, just put it in place for everyone and then you don't need to worry about why you specifically tell or do not tell this employee.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption